POLICE INVESTIGATING the death of Joshua Bwalya in Barking have issued a new appeal. They are very keen to speak to anyone who saw a group of youths in the area on the evening of Joshua’s death.
Police were called out at 1am on Wednesday, 2nd August and found Joshua, who had been stabbed, at the junction of Movers Lane and Ripple Road in Barking. They want to speak to anyone who saw a group of youngsters on bicycles in that general area, either before or after 1am.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes, who is leading the investigation, said, “I am renewing my appeal for anyone who witnessed this tragic murder and who is yet to speak with my team to come forward and let us know what you saw. I believe that the suspects in this fatal stabbing were riding bicycles. They were dressed in dark clothing, and some of them are thought to have been wearing bandana-type face coverings and hoods. They would have looked out of place and I am certain someone would have seen where they went.
“Whilst we have charged two men with Joshua’s murder, this remains an ongoing investigation and I know that there are other suspects, who at this time remain unidentified. It is crucial that I identify and arrest these people and I feel sure that someone must know who they are. I would appeal directly to any such people to come forward. This was a savage attack on a 16-year-old boy which has left his family devastated. I would urge you to come forward and help them.”
Police are making great efforts to try to solve this crime. The Homicide and Major Crime Command is in charge of the investigation and they have now opened an incident room. The appeal for witnesses who saw youngsters on bicycles came after police went to the area one week after Joshua died, talking to passers by in the hope of finding out ore information about that fatal night.
Two young men, aged 16 and 20, were found near where Joshua was found – both suffering from stab wounds. They were both taken to hospital and arrested on suspicion of murder. When they were discharged from hospital they were taken into police custody. They have since been released on the basis that no further action will be taken against them.
Two other young men have been charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder, and a third is on bail as the investigation continues.
•Anyone with information should call the Homicide and Major Crime Command Incident Room on 020-8345 1570. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111, where you can give information anonymously.